In the UK, numerous pieces of legislation relate to dogs and dog ownership.  Responsible dog owners should be aware of such legislation and their broad implications.  The following are some of the legislative controls in place to tackle well-known dog related problems.

Dog Barking

Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Sections 149-150)
Under section 49 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

Dog Control

For information regarding the control of dogs

Other Legislative Measures

This Act makes it an offence for any person to allow any creature, including a dog, to cause injury or danger to any other person who is in a public place or to give that person reasonable cause for alarm or annoyance.

It also allows any person who is given reasonable cause for annoyance by any animal where they reside to apply for a Court Order requiring the owner of the animal to reduce the nuisance.

This Act makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are being met. These include the need:

• For a suitable environment (place to live)
• For a suitable diet
• To exhibit normal behaviour patterns
• To be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
• To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease

This Act covers the licensing of cat and rabbit breeders, pet shops, animal rescues and sanctuaries- came into force on 1st Sept 2021.

The Animals (Scotland) Act 1987

An Act to make provision for Scotland with respect to civil liability for injury or damage caused by animals, the detention of straying animals and the protection of persons or livestock from animals.

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953

This Act makes it an offence for the owner of a dog to allow it to worry livestock on agricultural land. This piece of legislation is enforced by the Police. The term ‘livestock’ covers sheep, cattle, goats, swine, horses and poultry, while ‘agricultural land’ covers land used as arable, meadow or grazing land or for the purposes of poultry, pig farming, market gardens allotments, nursery grounds or orchards.

For this piece of legislation to be used, the dogs must be found attacking or chasing livestock or at large, that it is not on a lead or under close control, in a field or enclosure containing livestock. An offence is punishable by a fine on the owner or keeper of the dog of up to £1000.

These regulations require persons selling young dogs or cats (less than 84 days old) to be licensed to do so by the Local Authority. Cease to be in force September 2021

This Act requires that a licence be obtained from the Local Authority for any premise that is providing accommodation for dogs.